Unlike last night’s early fireworks, the scoring didn’t begin until the middle frame tonight. Patrick Giles opened things up with a nifty redirection out front, then Santtu Kinnunen pounced on the reeling visitors with a seeing-eye snipe less than 90 seconds after that to give Charlotte a two-goal lead just five minutes into the period.
San Jose would punch back later in the second to narrow the deficit, but the Checkers fended off any hopes of another Barracuda rally. Spencer Knight went into another gear in the third, stymying some Grade-A chances from the visitors and going perfect on all 11 shots he faced to keep the Barracuda at bay. Wilmer Skoog gave the Checkers some breathing room late in regulation when he knocked home a loose puck out front, then Lucas Carlsson deposited the dagger into an empty net from across the ice to close out Charlotte’s midweek romp.
In his winning effort, Knight amassed 33 saves across the contest - including helping the Checkers go perfect on three penalty kills.
The second period was obviously big. It was back and forth and I thought they came out with a lot of intent, but I thought our guys held their ground in the second period. It was a big period for us, we won 2-1, but they really didn’t go away at all. They were competitive. I thought third period we did a good job digging in, being mentally tough, four lines rolling and lock it down. Obviously Knighter was really good too.
Kinnear on Spencer Knight
I thought that was all game they got the traffic, and then you the big stop where we did have a breakdown and he stood tall on a breakaway out of the corner pretty much. Like the rest of us he’s built his game over time, and today he allowed us to play our game. He’s put the work in, and whenever you have the hard work and all that you’re going to be rewarded. I liked his game a lot tonight.
Kinnear on Wilmer Skoog
He's respected the process. The first couple of games with me he didn’t get a lot of ice time but he went down, worked hard down there, came up and made the most of his opportunity. He’s just been a really good player for us and does everything right. I think that line has been pretty good with Sourdie and Samo. It’s a young line and they’re going to make their mistakes, but I like the things they’ve been able to build over the last couple of weeks.
Kinnear on moving forward
We need a recovery day. I feel the schedule hasn’t worked in our favor, but that’s what was more impressive about the third period tonight was the dig in. It wasn’t always going to be pretty but we had guys pay a price and block shots to get the job done. You’re going to need that because you’re not always going to feel great. I’m proud of the guys.
Santtu Kinnunen on not allowing San Jose back into the game
I think we killed it in the third period pretty well. We played smart and we kept the puck out of the net. Knighter was amazing of course, but I think it was a whole team effort that we shut it down.
Spencer Knight on the win
It was good. I think I mentioned it before but each game is different than the previous one and also the next one. I think you just have to keep showing up and working hard. I know it’s a cliché and simple, but if you work hard and just take it shift by shift – the results are the results, but you have to do the little things right in order to get the results.